The following is from Prayers from The Water’s Edge.
It’s a new year. Most of us usually come up with a few things we want to do so that we have a better life: exercising regularly, spending more time with family, and getting organized. All are noble endeavors. Most of us would do well at doing each of them or something similar. But true transformation happens when we stop doing certain things. Think about the possibilities of what your life would look like if you stopped doing the following:
Stop neglecting your relationship with God. Use God’s wisdom and resources to heal you and become the person God created you to become.
Stop holding on to your past failures and hurts. You have failed before and you have been hurt. Your past will not define or predict your future unless you let it. Stop letting it. Instead of lamenting over past failures and hurts, learn from them, and do your part to make tomorrow better than yesterday.
Stop running from problems and dysfunctional behaviors. Avoiding real issues that need to be dealt with is not going to move you forward in life. Prioritize and tackle your problems one at a time.
Stop pleasing people. It is not possible to fully and continually please another person. So stop trying. Do you really want an imperfect person’s perceptions about you to determine your self-worth? Listen to people. Serve people. Love people. But don’t let others determine your value and happiness.
Stop being indecisive about what you want. Find your passion and pursue it. Today. There are only so many tomorrows. A year from now, you will wish you had started today. You won’t get to choose when or how you are going to die. But, you can decide how you are going to live today. Define and chase your dreams.
Stop being afraid to take a few risks. Your greatest regrets in life will not be times you have fallen or not succeeded. Your greatest regrets in life will be the opportunities you didn’t take. You can get up from a fall. You can’t make a shot you don’t take.
Stop being ungrateful. Envy and jealousy are cruel criminals. They steal today’s blessings like no other. Every moment you spend practicing envy and jealousy, you miss the beauty of life’s many blessings. And you have many of them! You will not experience contentment if you don’t enjoy and if you aren’t intentionally thankful for your current blessings.
Stop not living in the present. Life’s greatest moments are spontaneous and not planned. We can plan and create environments where great moments happen, but we must live in the present to experience those moments. We were not created to be spectators in this once-to-be-lived-and-never-to-be-repeated life. We are participants. So participate. Today.